Anaheim Businessman Blasts Location of Proposed County Homeless Shelter

Anaheim businessman Don Dormeyer, who owns Red Gum Creative Campus and founded the Anaheim Canyon Business Alliance, has published an op-ed in the Voice of OC news site blasting County of Orange plans for a 200-bed permanent homeless shelter in  the Anaheim Canyon Center for Advanced Technology, where his and hundreds of businesses are located:

County Homeless shelter in Anaheim Canyon’s “Center for Advanced Technology”

by Don Dormeyer

The Canyon Business Association, a new organization that has sprung up in the Anaheim “Canyon Center for Advanced Technology” is growing rapidly due to concerns that a large 200 bed homeless shelter will effect their industrial park.

There are well over 1000 businesses that vehemently feel they will be damaged. The group is a common voice to protect what they feel is an assault on their ability to thrive.

Thriving is important to them because Anaheim Planning’s stated vision in the “Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan” called for “an engaging, innovative, and dynamic business environment that provides opportunities for growth, development, and sustained success supported by clear policies and regulations.”

That is the Anaheim “Canyon Specific Plan” that these businesses invested in. What part of “advanced technology” is a huge homeless shelter?

It seems the Mayor and City Council have abandoned that commitment or failed to mention it to the County Supervisors who are buying an industrial building at an entrance to the Center for Advanced Technology for a 200 bed homeless shelter that is clearly in the WRONG place. Actually in the worse possible place! A place that has almost no homeless at all because it is an industrial park.

The “Canyon Center for Advanced Technology” is rapidly moving toward what the name aspires to be.

New class A buildings have gone up, and more are coming. New businesses, attracting National and International clients to Anaheim have arrived. Aerospace has returned. The utilities are currently being under-grounded and new sidewalks and bike lanes are planned. All according to Anaheim’s “vision” for the Canyon Center for Advanced Technology. The Canyon will be a beautiful place for advanced technology and high paying jobs.

Why derail that?

If each business in the Canyon hired a new employee next year that would be thousands of new tech jobs for Anaheim and Orange County. Companies attracted to move to the Canyon will add untold additional jobs

Locating a huge homeless shelter at the entrance to the “Center for Advanced Technology” seems counterproductive and particularly “unkind” to the taxpaying businesses and the thousands of taxpaying employees. It damages the area’s ability to add thousands of new taxpaying jobs and help Anaheim’s economy.

Most infuriating, it is a county facility. So other cities that don’t want the homeless will able to export them to Anaheim. Who would vote for that idea?

Residents of the adjoining area of Orange got together to fight what they feel will damage their residential neighborhoods. The 1,000+ businesses in the Canyon had no organization to speak for them, but an organization quickly formed due to huge opposition to the proposed shelter location. “Every business I talked to, 100 percent were adamantly against this” said one organizer.

On its website, there is support for other homeless solutions and other better locations. Taxpayers seeking better employment need jobs, and damaging an industrial area that can grow better jobs is foolish. What are our politicians thinking? Industrial areas are for industry. And “Advanced Technology” means higher paying jobs.

Homelessness is a community problem and putting the homeless in a giant box is a bad, and particularly “unkind” solution. Out-of-sight-out-of-mind is NOT a solution. Just moving them “somewhere else” is not kind nor helpful nor effective.

The business association doesn’t claim to have the answer but businesses depend on solutions and when one solution hasn’t worked, they try another.

Step four in LA’s Union Rescue Mission’s plan to end homelessness calls for small community shelters where the homeless already live. Removing the concentration effect that causes the “not in my neighborhood” political blowback, because the homeless are already there. The Union Mission should know because they have 100 plus years of hindsight, and the L.A. Skid Row area has grown to 54 blocks of crime and anarchy. L.A. Skid Row is getting 1,500 new homeless per year. (See for sources.)

Big shelters are not working. Ask anyone operating one. Housing First is having success with individualized solutions in Utah. Their results are worth watching.

You can read the rest of Don’s column by clicking here.


  1. You left out the key sentence in this “press release” so I’ll share it:

    “The city has already purchased land for a shelter on Carl Karcher Way. (An appropriate street name for a genuinely helpful solution) The utilities are in place. Using modern architecturally attractive modular buildings the shelter could be open in months at far less cost. The millions of dollars saved could be used for needed treatment and education services.”

    So NOW we discover that good folks in City Hall already bought a site for a shelter and spent (wasted?) $3,000,000 for it.

    So there’s the Canyon people’s solution: put the damn thing where it was supposed to be in the first place – Carl Karcher Way.

    • There is a large pre_existing youth program in that location and Anaheim’s only public charter school, Goals Academy. more than 1,000 children attend the free programs there annually. The city of anaheim, correctly has re-assessed that area as one that should be encouaged for families and children. Large concentrations of transients are certainly not a solution that has worked anywhere and will not work in Anaheim as proposed.

      • Dave:

        That is an interesting point. The proposed Kraemer Place shelter is near my neighborhood. I take from your comment “large concentrations of transients are certainly not a solution that has worked anywhere and will not work in Anaheim as proposed” that you do not support the Kraemer Place as a large homeless shelter location?

        The Anaheim city council likes and respects you. Would you add your voice to those of us opposing the Kraemer Place plan?

      • Dave, you should have identified yourself. Your school has an eight or nine foot fence around it. I think you and your crew are safe from those dirty homeless people.

        BTW, the City of Anaheim never “re-assessed” the area for anything.

  2. One problem with that analysis. The county turned down that site and told the city to find another address. Also, the city didn’t spend $3M, the County of Orange did because it’s a county facility. It’s unfortunate the misinformation circulating – clearly all designed to keep the city and the county from opening a full service shelter anywhere – just like in Santa Ana and Fullerton.

    • The Carl Karcher site is not effective because there is a new charter school directly across the street from the proposed site. There is also a very large program for persons with special needs on the same side of the street. The homeless already hang out at La Palma Park even with the new dog park. I go back to a comment I made a few weeks ago. Large shelters or group homes are being lambasted as inappropriate and we want to open a 200 bed shelter. I suggest that Fairview State Hospital in Costa Mesa be converted to the shelter. The beds are already available as are all of the services necessary to house folks that have mental illness or other needs. Let’s get Costa Mesa and the state to open up the extra bed space at Fairview. Problem solved, no construction costs and the rooms are already available.

      • Fair view is a great idea.

      • Larry, the only reason the site is not “effective” is because the City Council has been persuaded by other interests that the site is valuable – most likely the target of a zone change to boost the value. Well Land O’ Goshen! Money influencing Anaheim government. What a thought!

        • randy, if you read the posts from both Dave and myself, the school site has kids there all of the time. Parents walk their students there and if you have been in the area, the dog park has solved nothing and the folks still hang out. There have been several instances where the GOALS staff have been harassed and the vandalism that occurs and the human feces that is cleaned up on a regular basis does not permit that site to be used. Get a true picture and ship them to Costa Mesa and fairview

    • Mr./Ms. City Employee,

      Misinformation? There isn’t a particle of truth in YOUR comment. Our host would call you “intellectually dishonest.” Scratch that. You’re a liar; or you willingly pass along lies told you by others. I wonder why.

      Here’s the Anaheim City Council Resolution from March 25, 2014 buying the Karcher property for $3,112,500:

      THE CITY OF ANAHEIM approving the acquisition of a 3.073 -acre (approximate)
      AGR -8026 unimproved parcel of real property known as Assessor’s Parcel Nos. 073 – 083 -33 and
      073 – 083 -34 in the City of Anaheim form Karcher Partners, LLC and determining that said
      acquisition is exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act
      (CEQA) under section 15004(b)(2)(A) of the State CEQA guidelines.
      Kristine Ridge, Deputy City Manager, reported this item was for the adoption of a resolution to
      approve a purchase agreement permitting the city to acquire a three -acre parcel within city
      limits. She emphasized it was only for the purchase of the property, and that no use for that site
      had yet been determined, adding that should a future use be proposed, it would return to
      Council for final action.
      Council Member Brandman moved to approve RESOLUTION NO. 2014 -047 OF THE CITY
      COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM approving the acquisition of a 3.073 -acre (approximate)
      unimproved parcel of real property known as Assessor’s Parcel Nos. 073 – 083 -33 and 073 -083-
      34 in the City of Anaheim form Karcher Partners, LLC and determining that said acquisition is
      exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under section
      15004(b)(2)(A) of the State CEQA guidelines, seconded by Council Member Kring. AYES — 5:
      (Mayor Tait and Council Members: Brandman, Eastman, Kring and Murray.) NOES — 0. Motion

      The County did not reject the site, either. Somebody told Brandman and Murray not to go ahead with the deal and they pulled the plug – with no explanation to the public of why.

      That site was purchased for a shelter. It is owned free and clear by the City, and that is where the homeless shelter belongs.

  3. You are the one who is lieing and doing so to attack the city and council. No one disputes that the council voted unanimously to support the acquisition of the Karcher site. I don’t work with the Council but what I do know is that staff was instructed by the county to find another location so staff did that – no conspiracy. For you to call out that it was the action of two members when the resolution and funding to support the Kramer site was approved unanimously by the council just shows your political bias and does not make it truthful.

  4. I wonder how the CATER folks would categorize Randy Roddy, an “anonymous coward”, a crank using an obviously a fake name or a solid citizen of Anaheim, like Greg, interested in his city (Correction Greg Diamond lives in Brea, NOT Anaheim).

    I look forward to Cynthia’s response.

    • I’d characterize him as “smarter and more conscientious than the rest of the pseudonymous commenting on this website combined.”

      Engaging in serious and informed discussion under a pseudonym is not a problem. Spewing vicious and specious attacks that one might hesitate to publish under one’s own name — i.e., your stock in trade — is the problem. So put me down for him being a “solid citizen of Anaheim,” full stop.

      • Uh, right. Randy Roddy routinely and speciously attacks the character of councilmembers and politicos with whom he disagrees. But that’s OK with you because you’re of the same mindset.

      • “Spewing vicious and specious attacks that one might hesitate to publish under one’s own name”

        You mean the sort of attacks you allow against me and Matt on your blog all the time? Hypocrite.

        • You’ve already demonstrated in comments on your blog that you can’t tell the difference between slander and satire. We have a person or two who satirizes you — a protected speech act in that anyone not too thick in the head should understand that it’s not intended to be taken as a serious depiction of facts. You have people who engage in defamation. And you shield them.

          • And you think any criticism of you is defamation. Slander is spoken; libel is written counselor. And satire is protected speech even if the object of the satire (you) doesn’t get it.

            Libel is publishing something false with malicious intent to defame or injure — suggestion I’ve assaulted a man in a wheelchair for example.

            Someone calling you a failure at every aspect of your life is opinion. Protected speech.

            You in a Bizzaro suit — satire.

            Please let’s not pretend your blog is above it all. And please tell me what sizes your daughters wear; I can send you my daughter’s hand me downs since your family is so in need of charity

            • No, you [intemperate insult deleted]; I think that defamation is defamation. It has elements specified by law; when I say that something is defamatory, I am saying that those legal elements are satisfied.

              You don’t know the law of defamation nearly as well as you think — and what the exceptions are regarding “opinion.” I do.

              Here’s the comment you were upset about — over which you could certainly sue David Zenger if you wanted to — the content of which I do not endorse:

              Aw, now, why did you have to mention punching?

              Now [Dan will] have to remind everyone about the time he got all aggressive on that little dude in the wheelchair after 6 AM “bootcamp” got his testicular fortitude all amped up.

              That is satirizing your frequent muscular-sounding abusiveness on your site — which is, for example, evident in the headline to your recent story “OC Young Republicans Host Gun Event/Manhood Compensation Fundraiser Saturday.” (Matt — you DO think that that’s funny, right?) I don’t think that anyone took that as a literal assertion that you physically abused someone in a wheelchair. But hey, you have the right to take it to a jury. You, unlike me, know how to find the person whom you’d sue.

              Depicting me wearing a Bizarro Superman suit was indeed protected speech. If you’ll look back and move your lips while you read, you may see that that was not the problem.

              My daughters have very good clothing taste; if you’d like to send photos of your daughter’s wardrobe — not while she’s wearing them, please — then they can help decide to what charity you should donate them.

      • While I understand and to a small degree accept your reply, I am left with a HUGE question: Who get’s to decide?

        Cynthia Ward
        Frank Tannanna
        How about Tony Bushala
        Gustavo Arrellano
        Matt Cunningham

        Herein lies the problem, Rodney Roddy’s comments while false and defamatory, mine while true and accurate condemning your family member are considered “politically incorrect” by you. You don’t have a good history on this I am told, but it remains one of the few defense mechanisms you and your Faux organization have left. We get it.

        • Are you trying to invoke Frank Tanana, the former Angels pitcher? Yes, obviously he should be the one to decide. (That’s “facetiousness,” by the way.)

          None of the above should be the one to decide; all are empowered to make their best case. You’re completely wrong about Rowdy Roddy’s comments being either false or defamatory — but you can make your case, if you want, and then I can rebut it. Obviously, one problem here is that I (like the others you mention) put my reputation on the line when I write; you don’t. Neither does Roddy, true — but he actually does tell the truth, so it’s less of a problem.

          I’ll say to you, too — I’ll argue *specifics* about RR’s comments, not generalities.

          • He tells YOUR truth which is why you agree with him/her.

            • Did you read the part where I said I would argue about specifics, because arguing about generalities favors [obscenity deleted]?

              You’re asserting a vague generality. And you’re wrong. His arguments routinely check out. Not that you’d argue specifics.

  5. Sounds like a cat fight amongst unarmed enemies.. What happened to the discussion regarding the homeless. I don’t know any of you and don’t really care about your personal issues. Stay on track and realize the Kraeme siter is as bad as the Carl Karcher site. Large shelters DO NOT WORK.

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